LA County Sidewalk Riding: Part 3

So we’ve covered mid-town as well as the Valley, north county and west county. Today we’re taking a stroll down the boardwalk: the beach towns of the Westside and the South Bay area get their turn under the magnifying glass of LADOT Bike Blog.

(Ed. note: Before we get started, let’s just make clear that all the same disclaimers from Part 1 still apply. Good? Good.)

(Ed. Note 2: Sadly, LADOT Bike Blog had to be out of town during the Mayor’s Bike Summit. Rather than try to cobble together a sub-optimal story out of second-hand accounts, LADOT Bike Blog suggests you take a look at the expert reporting done by others in the online LA Bike Community like Biking in LA, Streetsblog, LAist, Gary Rides Bikes & The Source.)

El Segundo:

Sec. 8-4-24 lays it out pretty clearly:

A. Use Restricted: No person shall coast or propel himself down, along, upon or over any sidewalk in or on any skateboard, rollerblades, in-line skates, wagon, cart, hand wagon, coaster, bicycle or other vehicle in any business district, public park or recreation area.

No riding in parks and business districts, but keep in mind that “business district”, again, is defined by CVC 240.

Manhattan Beach:

Manhattan Beach is stricter than El Segundo. Sec. 3.1.100:

A. No person shall ride or operate a bicycle on any sidewalk in the City except as specifically permitted by this section.

And what kind of sidewalk riding is permitted?

B. Juveniles under the age of fourteen (14) years, exercising due care and giving the pedestrian the right of way, may ride and operate their bicycles upon the sidewalk, except such sidewalks as are in front of schools, stores or buildings used for business purposes.

Unless you’re under 14, stay on the street.

Hermosa Beach:

It looks like sidewalk riding is allowed in Hermosa Beach, but not in commercial zones. Sec. 10.12.170:

A. Prohibited on Sidewalks in Commercial Zone – Exceptions. It is unlawful for any person to ride or operate any wheeled vehicle or device, propelled by human or motorized power, including bicycles, skateboards, roller skates and electric personal assistive mobility devices (“EPAMD”)(as defined in Vehicle Code Section 313), on or over any sidewalk or part of a sidewalk within a commercial zone in the city, except:

  1. Conveyances, including EPAMDs, by any person, who by reason of physical disability, is unable to move about as a pedestrian and is in possession of a distinguishing disabled parking placard issued pursuant to the California Vehicle Code;
  2. The Strand walkway, subject to the requirements of Sections 12.20.220 and 12.20.230;

Redondo Beach:

Redondo Beach is as clear as can be in Sec. 3-1.04. Wherever there’s a sign to that effect, no sidewalk riding. When no signs are present, have a ball.

It shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle, skateboard, or roller skates on any sidewalk properly posted or signed prohibiting such riding.

Avalon:

You can take your bike on the ferry to Catalina, but it’s not clear if you can ride it on the sidewalk once you arrive. Though there was no language in the Avalon Municipal Code, LADOT Bike Blog conferred with Amanda Cook, Planning Director for the City of Avalon. When asking if there was anything to prohibit sidewalk riding, she said:

[We] don’t … have any such language. We do have a street that is pedestrian only

Looks like we’ll have to relegate Avalon to the “no clear language in the municipal code” section.

Lawndale:

Lawndale clearly prohibits sidewalk riding. Sec. 10.10.090 says:

No person shall place, cause to be placed, leave, push or propel in any manner any bicycle, motorcycle or any other vehicle upon any pedestrian walkway, which the city council by resolution, has specifically designated as reserved for pedestrian use only.

Hawthorne:

Hawthorne also does not allow bikes on the sidewalk. Sec. 10.60.010 says:

The driver of a vehicle shall not drive within any sidewalk area or any parkway except at a permanent or temporary driveway. For purposes of this section, “vehicle” includes, but is not limited to, bicycles, electric carts, and motorcycles.

Gardena:

Gardena explicitly forbids sidewalk riding in the amorphous, CVC-defined “business district”. But then in the very next sentence, the city one-ups itself. Sec. 10.48.100:

No person shall ride, park, or leave a bicycle upon any sidewalk at any time in a business district. No person shall ride a bicycle on a sidewalk outside a business district except when, because of the very nature of the conditions on the roadway, it would be hazardous to ride in the roadway, at which time it would be permissible for a bicycle to be ridden on the sidewalk providing such would not endanger or hinder the movement of pedestrians thereon.

So, you aren’t actually allowed to ride on the sidewalk anywhere in Gardena unless you really need to.

Torrance:

When riding your bike in Torrance, you’re bound by the CVC 240 defined “business district”. Sec. 62.1.4:

a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within any business district or upon the sidewalk adjacent to any public school building, church, recreation center or playground.

b) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, and when overtaking or passing a pedestrian, after giving an audible signal, shall at all times, pass to the left of such pedestrian.

In addition to the “business district” restriction, there is another rule in Torrance that makes sidewalk riding impractical. Riders must dismount (Sec. 62.1.7) when crossing a crosswalk.

Lomita:

Lomita has some odd language, but we’ve broken it down for you. Sec. 3-15.06 says bicycle riding (on sidewalks or otherwise) may be prohibited by the City Council anywhere, but that signage must first be posted on those streets.

The city council may, upon review and recommendation by the city engineer, designate any public roadway, sidewalk, or other public property as a no rollerskating, skateboarding, or bicycling area. The city council shall designate such area by resolution and order the posting of appropriate signage in accordance with section 3-15.10 of this chapter.

Additionally, sidewalk riding can be prohibited in a CVC defined “business district” by a private property owner if they also go through the City Council. Sec. 3-15.08:

The city council may, by resolution, designate any private property within a business district, or which is primarily used for commercial or recreational purposes, as a no rollerskating, skateboarding, or bicycling area.

LADOT Bike Blog doesn’t presume to know whether any of this signage actually exists. Suffice to say, if you see such a sign in Lomita, get off the sidewalk.

Rancho Palos Verdes:

They adopted the LA County traffic ordinance in Sec. 10.4.010:

Ordinance No. 6544 of the county, known as “The Traffic Ordinance,” being an ordinance regulating traffic upon public highways and repealing Ordinances No. 2177, 3549, 3922, and 6383 of the county, as amended and in effect on September 7, 1973, is adopted as the traffic code of the city.

Since LA County Municipal Code 15.76.080 prohibits sidewalk riding, doing it in Rancho Palos Verdes is also illegal.

Palos Verdes Estates:

Palos Verdes Estates gilds the lily, but fails to definitively make a ruling on sidewalk riding. They prohibit “rollerskates and toy vehicles” on sidewalks in business districts (Sec. 12.20.020), but they are also prohibited on all roadways (Sec. 12.20.010). This would give the impression that bicycles would not be included among “toy vehicles and coasters”. We’ll have to relegate Palos Verdes estates to the group cities without specific sidewalk riding language.

Rolling Hills:

Rolling Hills is an interesting case. There is no language in their municipal code about sidewalk riding, but that’s because there are no sidewalks in Rolling Hills. How can they do this? Well, Rolling Hills is a gated community with privately maintained roads. As Sec. 10.01.020 (pdf) says, the CVC gives cities the right to regulate “private roads” in any way they like. In Rolling Hills, you’re on the road by default.

Rolling Hills Estates:

While the City of Rolling Hills Estates reserves the right to prohibit bicycles when signage is posted (Sec. 10.20.120), there is no specific language on sidewalk riding. While Rolling Hills Estates has more sidewalks than Rolling Hills, there is still a very limited amount of sidewalk on which to ride.  When speaking with David Wahba, planning director for the City of Rolling Hills Estates, he said:

I think the point here is that we have very limited sidewalks in the City, except along some of our major corridors, such as Palos Verdes Drive North and the commercial district, where we typically have established bike lanes on the roadways, such that a bicyclist should not be on the adjacent sidewalk, but rather in the bike lane or on the street as allowed by the California Vehicle Code.

Even so, we’ll have to play it safe and place this city in the “no clear language in the municipal code” category.

Let’s check the big scoreboard!

Sidewalk Riding is allowed

  • LA City
  • West Hollywood (with extra rules)
  • Burbank (though it’s still unclear)
  • Redondo Beach (unless there are signs)

Sidewalk Riding is not allowed

  • LA County
  • Inglewood
  • Santa Monica
  • Palmdale
  • Westlake Village
  • Malibu
  • Calabasas
  • Manhattan Beach (unless you’re under 14)
  • Lawndale
  • Hawthorne
  • Gardena (unless you feel unsafe on the road)
  • Rancho Palos Verdes
  • Rolling Hills (there are no sidewalks)

Sidewalk Riding is not allowed in “business districts”, among other rules

  • Glendale
  • Beverly Hills
  • Culver City
  • Agoura Hills
  • San Fernando
  • Santa Clarita
  • Lancaster
  • El Segundo
  • Hermosa Beach
  • Torrance
  • Lomita

No Clear Language in Municipal Code

  • Hidden Hills
  • Avalon
  • Rolling Hills Estates
  • Palos Verdes Estates

Next week we’ll cover the cities along the Harbor Corridor. Ride safe out there!

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